Whip list: Where senators stand on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Confirmation depends on Senate math

By DANIELLA DIAZ AND ELIZABETH LANDERS, CNN
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Judge Brett Kavanaugh leaves the room following a meeting and press availability with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) at the U.S. Capitol on July 10.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Brett Kavanaugh is facing the confirmation of a lifetime. President Donald Trump announced in July that he is nominating the DC Appeals Court judge to the Supreme Court bench.

Whether Kavanaugh is successfully confirmed has become a question of Senate math. Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber.

And ahead of the midterms, all eyes are on the 10 Democrats running for re-election in states Trump carried in 2016. Three of them -- North Dakota's Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana's Sen. Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin -- voted for Trump's last Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, last year and face re-election in 2018.

Democrats are also watching Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, who have expressed concerns, among other issues, about any action to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion ruling.

For those who have already weighed in, here's the latest look at what senators have said about Kavanaugh's nomination and how they will vote:

What undecided red-state Democrats are saying

Bill Nelson of Florida on July 9 -- "I look forward to meeting with the President's nominee in the coming weeks to discuss his views on several important issues such as protecting women's rights, guaranteeing access to health care for those with pre-existing conditions and protecting the right to vote, just to name a few. I will make my decision after that."

Jon Tester of Montana on September 12 -- "We're going to be reviewing the transcript of the judiciary hearing pretty hard over the next couple of days to see how he answered the questions, if he answered the questions. And then also I want to add the in-person meeting. I'm going to be visiting with him about issues on security and campaign finance and choice and other things."

Joe Donnelly of Indiana on September 12 -- "I'm still reviewing everything at this point."

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota on September 12 -- "I'm still reviewing the record."

More undecided Democrats

Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada on July 9 -- "I plan to meet with Judge Kavanaugh in the coming months and will review his qualifications thoroughly."

Chris Coons of Delaware on September 12 -- "I sent Judge Kavanaugh a substantial list of questions for the record yesterday, maybe Monday. I'm giving him a week to respond. I'll make up my mind and make a public announcement after that. As should have been clear from my questioning in the confirmation hearing, I have grave concerns about his judicial philosophy around presidential power and a number of settled and important individual liberty rights."

Democrats opposing

Chuck Schumer of New York on July 9 -- "I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less."

Kamala Harris of California on July 9 -- "Judge Brett Kavanaugh represents a direct and fundamental threat to that promise of equality and so I will oppose his nomination to the Supreme Court."

Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on July 9 -- "I will be a 'no' vote on this nominee. Judge Kavanaugh's record and writings -- which I have reviewed -- signal an extreme hostility to the precious rights and liberties that make our nation great."

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania on July 9 -- "I will oppose the nomination the President will make tonight because it represents a corrupt bargain with the far right, big corporations and Washington special interests."

Patty Murray of Washington state on July 10 -- "I voted against Judge Kavanaugh when he was nominated for the circuit court and I strongly oppose this nomination now. I will be urging my colleagues to stand with me in rejecting him, and in calling on President Trump to send us someone who would stand with women, workers and families, and who would truly commit to respecting settled law and the rights and freedoms we hold so dear. And I will be urging people across the country to stand up, speak out and make their voices heard."

Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin on July 12 -- "After reviewing this nominee's record, I know why powerful special interests in Washington selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh to work on the Supreme Court for them, not the people of Wisconsin," she said in a statement. "The people of Wisconsin need a fair, impartial and independent Supreme Court Justice who will stand up for them, not for powerful special interests. I don't have confidence that Judge Kavanaugh would be that justice."

Tammy Duckworth of Illinois on July 19 -- "Based on his own words and writing, I fear that Judge Kavanaugh would be the deciding vote in critical cases that restrict a woman's freedom to make health care decisions with her doctor, tear away protections that guarantee Americans with pre-existing conditions may obtain health insurance and empower a president of the United States to act as though he is above the law. Judge Kavanaugh should not be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, and he will not have my vote."

Brian Schatz of Hawaii on September 4 -- "I've seen enough. As long as the Republicans refuse to release 96% of the Kavanaugh records, this process is illegitimate. Every other Supreme Court nominee has turned over nearly everything, and I am now convinced they are hiding something. I will vote no."

Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on September 10 -- "Judge Kavanaugh's past rulings on abortion demonstrate that he is willing to infringe on a woman's constitutionally protected right to make her own reproductive decisions, and his failure to answer questions about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's protections for pre-existing conditions puts the health and well-being of millions of Americans at risk. After careful consideration of his record and reviewing the limited documents made available to the US Senate, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to serve on the US Supreme Court."

Mark Warner of Virginia on September 11: "I would have liked to meet with Judge Kavanaugh personally before deciding how I'd vote. Even attempted to set up a meeting with him, though unfortunately the White House never responded. So I'm just going to say it. I'll be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh."

Claire McCaskill of Missouri in a statement on September 19: "While I am also uncomfortable about his view on Presidential power as it relates to the rule of law, and his position that corporations are people, it is his allegiance to the position that unlimited donations and dark anonymous money, from even foreign interests, should be allowed to swamp the voices of individuals that has been the determining factor in my decision to vote no on his nomination."

Democrats appearing to lean opposing

Dianne Feinstein of California on July 9 -- "His views are far outside the legal mainstream when it comes to access to health care, executive power, gun safety, worker protections, women's reproductive freedom and the government's ability to ensure clean air and water, to name a few. ... We need a nominee who understands that the court is there to protect the rights of all Americans, not just political interest groups and the powerful."

Patrick Leahy of Vermont on July 9 -- "Based on an initial review of Judge Kavanaugh's record, we are right to be concerned. ... He must not evade fundamental questions that judicial nominees have answered for decades until recently. He needs to explain why we should believe he would be a justice for all Americans, independent of the President and the ideologically driven interest groups that selected him."

Independents opposing (both caucus with Democrats)

Bernie Sanders of Vermont on July 10 -- "I do not believe a person with those views should be given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. We must mobilize the American people to defeat Trump's right-wing, reactionary nominee."

Angus King of Maine on September 12: -- "Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is one of the most important votes I will take in the Senate -- and after carefully studying his record (at least the part that is available) and judicial philosophy, I have decided that I will vote no on his confirmation."

Undecided Republicans to watch

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on July 9 -- "While I have not met Judge Kavanaugh, I look forward to sitting down for a personal meeting with him. I intend to review Judge Kavanaugh's decisions on the bench and writings off the bench, and pay careful attention to his responses to questions posed by my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Jeff Flake of Arizona on July 9 -- "As I have said before, approving a nominee who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record throughout the confirmation process."

Susan Collins of Maine on September 12 -- "I am still completing my due diligence. I spent an hour today going through the committee's sensitive documents at the Judiciary Committee that have not yet been released. I would note, however, that every document Democrats asked to have cleared and released was released by the order of the Justice Department and President Bush. So what I'm finding is that a lot of the information has not necessarily been accurately presented, and that's why I think it's really important I continue my review. I am also going to be talking to the judge later this week with a few more questions that I have."

Republicans voting yes

Ted Cruz of Texas on July 9 -- "By any measure, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected federal judges in the country and I look forward to supporting his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Dan Sullivan of Alaska on July 9 -- "I think he meets all the qualifications of what we as a Senate should be looking for in terms of the confirmation process and I plan on supporting Judge Kavanaugh as a next associate justice of the Supreme Court."

Orrin Hatch of Utah on July 11 -- "I was very pleased to meet with Judge Kavanaugh this morning. He's handled himself very well and comes with a lot of experience, coming from the second-greatest court in the land. I expect his confirmation to go well. I very much enjoyed talking with him for a few minutes."

Rob Portman of Ohio on July 11 -- "I can't think of anybody better qualified to be on the United States Supreme Court. He obviously has had a distinguished record."

Ben Sasse of Nebraska on July 12 -- "The judge I met today doesn't sound anything like the imaginary bogeyman that Democrats are railing against. I think Nebraskans are going to like this humble judge who is clearly most proud of his two daughters. Judge Kavanaugh is a serious thinker and a careful jurist who understands that our system of checks and balances and our First Amendment freedoms make America great."

John Cornyn of Texas on July 12 -- "I have known the judge for a long time. I've followed his record. I think he is the type of judge that we need on the Supreme Court, not one who is going to be making policy or legislating from the bench. I think he very much shares the same judicial philosophy as Justice Gorsuch so I look forward to supporting his confirmation."

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia on July 12 -- "After meeting with Judge Kavanaugh today, I'm even more certain that he is a man of integrity and that he understands and respects the responsibilities of a Supreme Court justice, which is why I plan to support his nomination. Judge Kavanaugh and I had a wide-ranging discussion about our separation-of-powers system, the court's responsibility to properly apply laws passed by Congress to guard against overreach by federal agencies, and the importance of respecting precedent to promote stability in the law. I know Judge Kavanaugh will be an excellent addition to the court and will honor and strengthen this important branch of our democracy."

Thom Tillis of North Carolina on July 18 -- "As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to strongly supporting his nomination and will work to ensure the Senate moves swiftly to confirm him."

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi on July 25 -- "I firmly believe the President made a great decision in nominating Judge Kavanaugh. I'm excited about his nomination, and look forward to supporting him and being an advocate for his confirmation."

Richard Shelby of Alabama on July 30 -- "Confirming Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most important things we will do during this Congress. I look forward to supporting his nomination to serve on our nation's highest court, and I urge my colleagues to do the same."

Rand Paul of Kentucky on July 30 -- "After meeting Judge Kavanaugh and reviewing his record, I have decided to support his nomination. No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee however, must be judged on the totality of their views character and opinions," Paul wrote in a series of tweets.

Marco Rubio of Florida on August 1 -- "His answers reflected what the American people voted for when they elected the president and a Republican-controlled Senate less than two years ago. I intend to support his nomination because of his stated commitment to interpreting and defending the Constitution as written."

John Thune of South Dakota on August 1 -- "I will support his nomination to the Supreme Court this fall, and I hope my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, reach the same conclusion about this well-qualified, mainstream jurist."

John Boozman of Arkansas on August 1 -- "The first thing that stood out when Brett Kavanaugh's nomination was announced was his exceptional record on the bench and the high level of respect his peers hold for him. After having an opportunity to visit with him, I find Judge Kavanaugh to be even more impressive than his resume and reputation alone suggest. I am confident that he is a fair and thoughtful jurist who will respect the Constitution and refrain from legislating from the bench. He is the exact type of judge we need on the Supreme Court."

John Hoeven of North Dakota on August 1 -- "I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Judge Kavanaugh today to discuss his judicial philosophy. Having served for more than a decade on the federal appeals court, he is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanuagh has a strong record of upholding the law rather than legislating from the bench and his approach to the law shows a deep respect for the Constitution. Given his years of experience on the bench and his commitment to upholding the law, I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a solid choice for the Supreme Court and I look forward to supporting his confirmation to serve on the Supreme Court."

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on August 15 -- "Judge Kavanaugh's impressive legal background combined with his compelling personal history makes his nomination an easy one to support. Most importantly, as I have reviewed his judicial record I am confident of his intent to apply the law as a judge, not alter it as a super-legislator. I look forward to voting to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court once the Senate has thoroughly but expeditiously completed the confirmation process."

Johnny Isakson of Georgia on August 16 --"He's a regular guy. He's a brilliant man. He cares about his country deeply. He believes in his country and feels a responsibility he wants to assume at this time in life. I can't think of any better reason to vote for him. I'm going to vote for him with pride, and I encourage my fellow senators... to join me as well."

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on September 4 -- "The antidote to our problems in this country when it comes to judges and politics is not to deny you (Kavanaugh) a place on the Supreme Court. This is exactly where you need to be. This is exactly the time you need to be there."

Todd Young of Indiana on September 6 -- "Earlier this week, I spoke with @WSBT about Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. Judge Kavanaugh will be an excellent addition to our nation's highest court, and the Republican-led Senate will continue to move through regular order to confirm him."

Republicans appearing to lean yes

Richard Burr of North Carolina on July 9 -- "In nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Trump has put forth a highly qualified and respected candidate committed to the rule of law. Judge Kavanaugh's credentials are impeccable, and as a judge for the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit he has considered many of the most pressing legal questions of our time."

Ted Cruz of Texas on July 9 -- "By any measure, Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most respected federal judges in the country and I look forward to supporting his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Mike Enzi of Wyoming on July 19 -- "It was great to talk with Judge Kavanaugh about his years of experience and dedication to the judicial system. He is an extremely well qualified nominee whose prior rulings and writings demonstrate his commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. I appreciated his thoughtful answers to my questions and look forward to the Senate's consideration of his nomination this fall."

This story will be updated with additional developments.

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.